A serious injury can be a life-altering experience that brings a whirlwind of emotions, including pain, frustration, and uncertainty. You may be dealing with the consequences of a car crash, slip and fall, defective product, or medical malpractice. As the mounting medical bills and lost wages take their toll, you might wonder if you can take legal action against the party responsible for your injuries. At Spiros Law, P.C., our dedicated and experienced attorneys are here to help you navigate the legal complexities and seek the compensation you deserve.
Steps In a Personal Injury Lawsuit
No one anticipates being injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence. Here, we’ve provided the key steps involved in a personal injury lawsuit to help you better understand the journey and how an attorney could help you seek the compensation you need and deserve:
Choose the Right Personal Injury Attorney
Selecting the right attorney will make a significant impact on your case. When choosing an attorney to represent you, consider their reputation in the community, experience, track record of success, and communication skills.
Schedule an Initial Consultation and Case Evaluation
During your initial consultation, your attorney will listen to your account of the incident, review any documentation or evidence you provide, and ask relevant questions to understand your situation better. This step is vital to gather the necessary information and assess your case.
Investigating the Incident
Once you’ve retained them, your attorney will conduct a thorough investigation to collect additional evidence, identify potential witnesses, and establish the facts of the case. This process may involve obtaining police reports, medical records, and other relevant documents supporting your claim.
Analyzing The Legal Elements of Your Case
Based on the information gathered, your attorney will analyze the legal elements required to establish negligence, intentional harm, or strict liability:
- For negligence cases, the attorney will assess whether there was a duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damages.
- In intentional harm cases, the attorney will determine whether the defendant acted deliberately, which led to your injury.
- In strict liability cases, your attorney will evaluate whether the defendant’s actions or products were inherently dangerous or defective and whether they took proper precautions to avoid injuring you.
Assessing Your Losses and Potential Compensation
An attorney will also evaluate the extent of your damages, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any other relevant losses. This assessment will help them determine the potential compensation you may be entitled to and whether it’s worth pursuing legal action.
Evaluating the Viability of Your Case
After conducting a comprehensive evaluation, your attorney will advise you on the viability of your case and whether it’s in your best interest to proceed with an injury claim or lawsuit. They will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your case, potential compensation, and the likelihood of success.
By consulting with a qualified personal injury attorney, you can clearly understand your case’s merits and make an informed decision on whether to pursue legal action. Remember that every injury claim is unique, and a thorough evaluation of the facts and circumstances is necessary for the best possible outcome.
Settlement Negotiations and Mediation
Settlement negotiations involve exchanging offers and counteroffers between parties, typically your lawyer and the at-fault party’s insurance provider. Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution method that your lawyer might utilize to resolve your case without needing a trial.
Filing the Lawsuit Before the Statute of Limitations Expires
The statute of limitations establishes the time limit for filing a personal injury lawsuit. Under Illinois law (735 ILCS 5/13-202), you typically have two years from the accident date. Filing within this time frame is crucial to preserving your right to pursue compensation. If you fail to file your lawsuit before the deadline, the court will be barred from hearing your case.
Discovery and Investigation
During the discovery phase, both sides exchange information through interrogatories, depositions, and requests for production.
Trial and Litigation
If you cannot reach a settlement, your case may proceed to trial, where your attorney will present the case on your behalf and seek a verdict in your favor.
Collecting the Judgment or Settlement
Lump sum payments and structured settlements are two standard methods of receiving compensation in personal injury cases. If you collect a lump sum, you’ll receive the entire settlement amount in a single payment, allowing you immediate access to the funds for your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses. This option will enable you to manage the money but may require careful financial planning to ensure your funds last.
A structured settlement is a series of periodic payments over an agreed period. This method can provide you with long-term financial security and stability and has potential tax benefits. The choice between a lump sum payment and a structured settlement will depend on your needs, financial situation, and preferences. Your personal injury attorney could help you determine the best option for your life and future.
Contact an Illinois Personal Injury Attorney Today
Navigating the personal injury lawsuit process can be challenging, but with an Illinois injury attorney from Spiros Law, P.C., you can trust that your case is in good hands. If you are unsure whether you have a case or would like to learn more about the process, we encourage you to contact us for a free consultation. Our attorneys are devoted to developing close, personal relationships with our clients and are readily available for face-to-face meetings and electronic communication. Contact us by phone at (815) 929-9292 or online today, and let us help you take the first steps toward getting the justice you deserve.